background information

“Musichimi Health Centre and Community Initiatives” NGO headquarters are in Daha village, Busia District, Uganda.

Here are some recent photos of the waiting room and the renovated mens ward.

The “Musichimi Health Centre and Community Initiatives” NGO was initiated by Rev. Father Dr. Vincent Ndanda in 1997 as the result of an intense  working relationship between him and his friends in Belgium, which has lasted ever since. The ‘Freundeskreis Uganda’, a Germany based non-profit organization is another  important supporter of the Musichimi NGO.


Fr. Vincent and staff in front of the clinic

The Musichimi Health Centre is located at Daha village in Busia District, Lunyo sub-county in South-Eastern Uganda, an exclusively rural area on the shores of Lake Victoria. It is the core activity of the NGO.

The total population of Lunyo sub-county is ca. 30,600. While the safe water supply in Lunyo has slightly increased over the years[1], access to electricity is still insufficient, although a power line is currently being built by the Government which might one day even reach the clinic. Public transport is not available in a radius of 18 km.

Busia district counts 22 health units ranging from HC II (10), HC III (7) to HC IV (3)[2], out of which 19 are Government units and 3 NGO units. Only 3 of the Government units have electricity. Most of them are generally ill equipped. In Lunyo sub-county there are 2 Government health units (1 HC III, 1 HC II) and the Musichimi Health Centre (HC III).

The clinic employs:

1 medical officer

1 enrolled nurse

2 mid-wives

1 lab assistant

2 helpers/night watchers

This is where the clinic is located

The clinic and the plot

The ambulance entrance

The patients’ entrance

The waiting room

The reception

The clinical officer’s office

The NGO is a non-profit organization and. It operates under the control of the district health authorities and of the Diocesian Medical Coordinators of Tororo Arch-Diocese. It presents balance sheets and medical reports to both on an annual basis. The Musichimi Health Centre has been operational since 2004. It is a level III clinic , i.e. run by a medical officer (trained with private donations from friends of the clinic). It also employs an enrolled nurse, 2 midwives, a laboratory assistant and 2 helpers for cleaning and night watch. In terms of dispensing health care to the area, the clinic has proved enormously successful as can be deducted from the data provided. This success has resulted from several contributing factors.
1. First of all, the complete reliability and transparency with which the clinic is managed by its director. This is the corner stone of the whole project.
2. Secondly, the clinic has been officially recognized by the Ugandan health authorities as part of the National Health grid. As such, it was allocated a so-called catchment area of about 6000 persons made up of 2 ‘parishes’. For these people, the clinic is the nearest health unit and responsible for all government funded health services. In particular, the clinic is commissioned by the Ministry of Health to dispense immunizations, school inspections, malaria prevention and treatment, and HIV consulting free of charge. Because many of these health care services are outreach activities, they have helped to build up the reputation of the clinic and its staff in remote villages. That is why people in the catchment area increasingly turn to the clinic for those health services that are not free of charge and for which they have to pay from their own pocket economic hardship notwithstanding.

Consultation in the clinic is free of charge, but a nominal fee is charged for tests and drugs, as well as for inpatient treatment and deliveries. For several years now the number of outdoor patients (those who are not hospitalized) has fluctuated between 1600 and  2000 patients per year. The fluctuations are due to climate conditions: in a good year with a lot of rain, the number will be considerably higher, in bad years with little rain or a drought, it will be much lower.  Nonetheless, the clinic’s income has risen to such a level that it currently nearly covers the operational costs.. This is principally due to the increase in indoor patient numbers (sick persons hospitalized in the clinic) and deliveries. In bad years, people will not turn to the clinic for minor problems, but continue to do so for major health issues. The fee for a delivery is 5000 USh, the basic fee for in-door patients is 2000 USh per day per patient. The rest of the income is made up of fees for drugs and lab tests.

It took the clinic more than 10 years to cover its operational costs through  its own income.  Until 2014/2015 the salaries were paid by private donors and the clinic was precariously dependent on outside funding.  It still is for investments.

Fr. Vincent in front of his home in Bukoba

[1] Rural safe water coverage has increased from 55.6% in May 2004 to 60% in May 2006; the entire district coverage was at 65.5% in June 2010; source: Women and Girls Empowerment Project, Busia District

[2] In Uganda there are 4 categories of health centres ranging from HC II to HC V: HC II can be run by a qualified medical nurse, HC III has to be run by a clinical officer, HC IV is run by a clinical officer under the supervision of a visiting doctor, HC V must provide for a resident doctor/doctors (hospital).